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Mark Yaconelli to lead retreat on youth ministry

Sep 14, 2006

Youth ministry expert Mark Yaconelli will lead a one-day retreat to explore the “soul” of youth ministry

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is offering a one-day retreat with author, veteran retreat leader, and youth ministry expert Mark Yaconelli. “Growing Souls: A Contemplative Approach to Youth Ministry” will be held on the Seminary campus, October 7, 2006, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Laws Lodge Retreat and Conference Center.

Based on his eight years of research from the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project, Yaconelli will lead pastors, youth ministers, parents, and anyone concerned with the spiritual life of young people to explore the soul of youth ministry. Participants will engage in a variety of contemplative practices and processes to help them approach ministry grounded in prayer, discernment, and trust.

Participants in the retreat will also receive a copy of Yaconelli’s book, Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus (2006, Youth Specialties/Zondervan), in which Yaconelli invites individuals to “slow down and receive the young people in our lives.” He says that what young people need most from the adults in their lives is how to be present to God and present to others. But first the adults need to claim the same for themselves.

”Contemplative youth ministry is an attempt to honor the desire to listen as well as teach within our interactions with kids. It’s an effort to ground our ministries in prayer as well as evangelism; in silence as well as acts of justice. Contemplative youth ministry is about refusing to be so busy that you overlook God within your ministry. It’s remembering that Jesus goes before and beside us,” says Yaconelli in a description of his book.

Yaconelli is the co-founder and director of the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project housed at San Francisco Theological Seminary. He has spent the past 15 years working with young people in congregational, camp, and conference settings. His research and ministry with young people has been ground-breaking in its exploration of spiritual direction, contemplation, and ancient spiritual practices as the basis of discipleship with young people. Interviews and profiles of his work have appeared in the national media including the Wall Street Journal, ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Knight Ridder News Service, and The Osgood Files for CBS Radio. Feature articles on his work with teens have appeared in The Christian Century, Group Magazine, Youthworker Journal and many other Christian publications.

Yaconelli holds an MA in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union and received a Graduate Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He has contributed chapters to many books including Way to Live (2003 Upper Room) and is the author of Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus (2006 Youth Specialties/Zondervan) and Growing Souls: Experiments in Contemplative Youth Ministry (Zondervan. To be released Spring 2007).

Louisville Seminary is honored to host Mark Yaconelli for this innovative event through co-sponsorship between Lifelong Learning and the Center for Congregations and Family Ministries.

Tuition for this event is $45, which includes lunch and a copy of Yaconelli’s book. Select the following link for more information or to register online or contact Carol Webb at 800.264.1839 or 502.895.3411, ext. 429.
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